Home » Qualified Team Focus – Canada: Back-to-back medals on the global stage?

Qualified Team Focus – Canada: Back-to-back medals on the global stage?

Qualified Team Focus – Canada: Back-to-back medals on the global stage?

MIES (Switzerland) – The draw for the Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament Paris 2024 was held on March 19. It is now time to meet the teams that have already qualified for the Olympics with the dream of becoming Olympic champions this summer.

Here is the number 7 team in the FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, the 1936 Olympic silver medalists Canada. The North Americans will be competing in the Olympics for the 10th time and the first time since 2000.

How they qualified

Canada went into the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 having not reached Quarter-Finals since taking seventh place in 1994. They started the tournament in Jakarta with a convincing 30-point drubbing of France and followed that with a 55-point win over Lebanon and then beat Latvia by 26 points to take first place in Group H. In the Second Round, Canada lost to Brazil 69-65 but rebounded with a thrilling 88-82 victory against 2019 world champions Spain.

Canada’s run continued in the Quarter-Finals with a 100-89 victory over Slovenia. That secured Canada’s best-ever finish in the FIBA World Cup. The North Americans could not overcome Serbia in the Semi-Finals with a 95-86 loss. Canada still had another shot at their first-ever World Cup podium finish with a showdown against USA in the Third Place Game. Dillon Brooks scored 39 points in a thrilling 127-118 overtime win to go home with a bronze medal.

Canada qualified directly for the Paris Olympics by finishing among the top two team from the the Americas in the World Cup.

Record at the Olympics

Steve Nash at the 2000 Olympics

Appearances: 9 – 1936 (2nd), 1948 (9th), 1952 (9th), 1956 (9th), 1964 (14th), 1976 (4th), 1984 (4th), 1988 (6th), 2000 (7th)
Medals: 1 -🥈(1936)

Last appearance

 
In 2000, Canada returned to the Olympics for the first time since 1988, having won silver in the first Games in 1936 and finishing fourth in 1976 and 1984. Loaded with a roster led by Steve Nash, Rowan Barrett, Michael Meeks, and Todd MacCulloch, Canada opened the 2000 Sydney Olympics with a 101-90 victory over hosts Australia. The North Americans followed that with a 45-point win over Angola before defeating Spain 91-77.

Canada were then defeated 77-59 by Russia and finished group play with an 83-75 victory against Yugoslavia to give them first place in Group B with a 4-1 record.

Canada could not carry over that momentum in the Quarter-Finals as they lost 68-63 to France to exit the Olympics earlier than hoped.

The Group Phase 

It will take some time before Canada can really prepare exactly for their group stage as Group A includes Australia as well as the winners of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in Spain and Greece, which will be played from July 2-7.

Canada will open group play against the OQT winner. In addition to Greece, the tournament in Piraeus also includes Slovenia, the Dominican Republic, and New Zealand. Canada eliminated Slovenia in the Quarter-Finals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 with a 100-89 victory.

The second game will be against Australia, who finally made their breakthrough of a first medal at a major event by taking bronze at the 2020 Olympics. Canada’s final group stage game will come against the OQT Spain winner, the top favorite of which is Spain but also includes the likes of Bahamas, Poland, and Finland.

Canada Group Phase games

vs Winner OQT Greece (July 27)
vs Australia (July 30)
vs Winner OQT Spain (August 2) 

Players to watch

Canada’s go-to guy is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, as the Oklahoma City star showed at the World Cup last summer when he averaged 24.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game to make the All-Star Five.

RJ Barrett

Canada are so much more than just Gilgeous-Alexander though as RJ Barrett is also a real leader and Dillon Brooks shined at the World Cup as both a villain and hero. The team also features veteran forwards Kelly Olynyk and Dwight Powell while Lugentz Dort is an emerging power and Nickiel Alexander-Walker can also produce when needed.

Zach Edey

Last summer, Zach Edey, was just a 21-year-old talented big man, but now he is a two-time NCAA Player of the Year who is expected to play a major role in the NBA. Fans should also expect Edey to come to Paris with more confidence as well.

Last but not lease, Jamal Murray, 2023 NBA champion with Denver, recently said he would like to join his National Team this summer. This is a scary though for any team on the planet. Yes, any team.

Qualified Team Focus series

During coming weeks and months, we will continue to check out all teams aiming for a medal at Paris 2024 as part of our Qualified Team Focus series. Check out the first installment: USA, Germany, Serbia and Australia.

FIBA